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 2011-06-27 01:53 pm Back to NEWS
‘FJT with God’ — RB
OBITUARY: Dr FJT Chiluba

President Banda has said God has taken former President Frederick Chiluba away from some people who planned to lock him up if they take over government.

The President was speaking at celebrations of the Corpus Christi Sunday at St Joseph Kanyama Parish in Lusaka yesterday.

“A few weeks ago, some people said something careless about Dr Chiluba, that they were going to lock him up. You see, this is what happens when you make careless statements. God has called Dr Chiluba to be with Him, away from such people,” he said.

He was accompanied by First Lady Thandiwe and his twins Temwani and Duniya, Vice-President George Kunda and his wife Ireen, Ministers Kalombo Mwansa (Defence), Eustarckio Kazonga (Agriculture and Co-operatives), Catherine Namugala (Tourism and Natural Resources), Deputy Ministers Lameck Mangani (Works and Supply), Michael Mabenga (Lands) and MMD national secretary Major Richard Kachingwe.

President Banda urged Zambians to pray for Dr Chiluba’s soul and promote forgiveness.

“As human beings, we must know that there is something wrong when we fail to forgive each other. We have differences but we need to forgive each other. Where there is no forgiveness, even families get ruined. We are mourning a great son of the country who did a lot for Zambia,” he said.

The President said Dr Chiluba liberated Zambia and gave it total freedom.

“Dr Chiluba wasn’t the biggest of men but he was big. He wanted freedom, multi-political parties and the nation still remained united,” he said.

Mr Banda said in 1991, many people, regardless of political affiliation, were happy with the multi-party politics introduced by Dr Chiluba.

And President Banda appealed to Zambians to reject violence and leaders perpetrating it.

“The election results should be the voice of the people because the voice of the people is the voice of God,” he said.

President Banda said the Catholic Church can decide the destiny of this country because the membership is big.

“I urge you to pray before you cast your vote. This is a trying year but Zambians are ready to vote. This is a sacred day and we need peace during and after the elections,” he said.

He said it is sad that some people were wishing that the unrest in the Middle East could spread to Zambia.

“In Zambia, we are very religious about our democracy. We should vote for someone who will look after us all,” he said.

And President Banda said the message from Kanyama Parish Priest Gabriel Mwanamwalye that refugees should be embraced, is commendable.

“We should welcome our visitors, however, poor we may be or however poor they may be, because they are human beings,” he said.

President Banda said the dignity foreign nationals have been given in Kanyama shows that the Zambian people are good and welcoming.

He said Zambians must learn from countries which have had conflicts, and remain peaceful and united.

“Rwanda and Burundi have the same people; they speak the same language and belong to one religious group, the Catholic Church. In Zambia, we have 72 tribes but we are still blessed to remain together,” he said.

And commenting on the challenges faced by Kanyama residents, as outlined by Father Mwanamwalye, President Banda said he relates well to the problems the people are facing because he comes from a humble background.

“I was born in a compound. We were the poorest family; my mother never went to school, not even for a day but my father went for a few years, so I know what poverty is. I have taken note of the problems,” he said.

President Banda also urged residents to insist that the leaders they elect fight poverty.

Earlier, Father Mwanamwalye bemoaned the poor road network, drainage system and sanitation which have contributed to annual outbreaks of cholera.

Father Mwanamwalye said the drainage system which was recently put in place has not made a difference and called for a probe into the job.

He also bemoaned the plight of refugees who are arrested without proper reasons.

And in his homily, Father Mwanamwalye urged politicians to reconcile and forgive one another.

“Let us be one, regardless of tribe or political affiliation. Let us uphold our motto, One Zambia, One Nation. We can politick but we should know that we are one. It is sad that some people even receive Eucharist but their language is bad,” he said.

Father Mwanamwalye said the Catholic Church loved and still loves first President Kenneth Kaunda, Dr Chiluba and Dr Mwanawasa, and the incumbent President Banda.

“Someone who loves you will compliment you when you perform well and correct you when you go wrong,” he said.

He said the Catholic Church stands for unity, harmony, peace, justice and reconciliation. He said the Church is non-partisan and it will remain so.

“Let us pray for unity, harmony and peace in this election year. Let us not just pray but also work for unity, harmony and peace,” he said.

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